Throughout the playoffs to this point, the New York Knicks' problem is that they've only sometimes been the New York Knicks that earned the best seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs, non-Miami Heat division. It seems that almost more often than not--and this includes Game 1 against the Indiana Pacers in the conference semifinals--the Knicks have been fighting themselves while a team in another set of jerseys piles on.
That was not the case in the fourth quarter Tuesday. The Knicks dropped the fight on the Knicks and dismantled the Indiana Pacers in just about every way imaginable; in fact, the only imaginable way in which the Knicks could have been better over a stretch of 11:32 between the third and fourth quarters was if they didn't allow that one, lonely basket during a 30-2 run.
Runs of that magnitude are certainly not normal, but the Knicks were adamant in the post-game news conference that nothing about the game's deciding stretch was fluky.
Carmelo Anthony, who finished with 32 points and had 11 during the 30-2 run, has struggled throughout the playoffs. Tuesday's Game 2 was his best performance in this postseason to date, and he attributed that to keeping his foot on the pedal despite struggles in the first round and in Game 1 against Indiana.
"I always said I can't stop doing that. I can't stop attacking. I can't stop being aggressive out there on the basketball court. I think I did a good job of making some adjustments out there, just being patient. I thought in the first game, I was a little too impatient coming off the pick-and-rolls. Seeing (Roy) Hibbert, my eyes got big seeing him in one-on-one matchup out there. He does a great job of protecting the paint, jumping straight up-and-down to avoid fouls. Tonight it was just a matter of taking advantage of that, getting in the paint and distributing the ball, getting guys open shots. It opens it up for myself."
Paul George of the Pacers was a bit simpler in his analysis of how his team allowed the Knicks to do what they did Tuesday.
"(Anthony) just made shots. We still had the same, we still contested shots. I feel like we made it as difficult as we could. But that's why he's an elite player. He has the ability to make contested shots."
Quotes via NBA.com's live press conference stream.